It’s been years since Sherlock Holmes last graced movie theaters. 2011’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was a smash hit with $545 million earned worldwide. A third film is in the works, and a familiar face might make a return.
The Return Of Moriarty
Professor Moriarty is rumored to appear in the third film. Portrayed by Jared Harris, the character was presumed dead at the end of A Game of Shadows. Moriarty and Holmes supposedly met their demise after falling into the Reichenbach Falls. At Holmes’ funeral, Watson gets an indication of Holmes’ survival thanks to a package. The film ends with Holmes locked inside Watson’s office. The final scene has him placing a question mark next to “The end” in Watson’s memoirs. Moriarty’s survival at the Falls would be inspired by the 1974 novel The Return of Moriarty.
Something Harris was intrigued by were the different versions of Moriarty in the books. “There have been lots of them that have been really good ones. That’s what interesting about them – it’s quite open. The main thing that has been great about Moriarty is this sense of mystery, of who this person is, because you don’t know a lot about him,” Harris told Collider.
No Moriarty After All?
While news of Moriarty’s return is great for fans, Harris has heard nothing about it. In a 2018 interview with Digital Spy, Harris was asked about the forthcoming Sherlock Holmes film. “I think they commissioned some writers to write Sherlock Holmes 3 and 4, I don’t know what happened to that. It keeps popping every now and then. They don’t talk to me, I’ve no idea what their plans are,” Harris told Digital Spy.
While he glanced at one script for Sherlock Holmes 3, one person wasn’t in it. “I think the last iteration when they last wrote a screenplay for Sherlock Holmes 3, Moriarty wasn’t in it. So, I’m not focusing on it,” Harris also told Digital Spy. When asked about a possible return, the actor left it in the air. “It’s not up to me. Those decisions have been taken in a room that I have no access to,” he told the publication. Like most movies, script re-writes are a constant thing. It wouldn’t surprise fans to see the writers pencil in Moriarty at the last minute. While he might not be the film’s main villain, he’s a major part of Holmes’ history.
More Holmes Coming Soon
The third Sherlock Holmes film is set to be released on December 22, 2021. The film finds Holmes and Watson in San Francisco in the Old West. Jude Law, who plays Watson, states this film will focus more on Holmes and Watson’s relationship. “We hope to propel the story forward. As always, the essence of the story is their codependency. We’re going to examine — since it’s been several years since we’ve seen them — we’re going to play up the fact that they haven’t seen each other for a long time either,” he told Entertainment Weekly.
Since 2011, the third film has been in development at Warner Bros. Pictures. Many of the delays stemmed from finding a proper story for the duo. “That’s been the challenge for us. But I think we have an interesting approach that brings back all the things people want to see and love but kind of frames it in a different way, so it doesn’t feel like we’re just repeating ideas or movements that we’ve already made with these guys,” producer Susan Downey told Collider. With Dexter Fletcher as the director, the third installment will be even more adventurous than its predecessors.
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